Wednesday, June 26, 2013

His future broke into a thousand pieces. El futuro se le rompió en mil pedazos

Sumon is a 15-year-old boy. He studies 2nd year of secondary in the small school run by Holy Cross priests in Srimongol (Bangladesh) for the tea workers children. The boy has managed to go further in studies than anyone else in his family; at the cost of immense sacrifices. Sumon is not a whiz, but with effort and tenacity, has been passing course after course. He’s got dreams and hopes for the future. Completion of the studies, to find a decent job, to take his family away from the plantations hell. And suddenly one morning, his future broke into a thousand pieces. Someone announced him that his mother just died. If someone from the family doesn't take his position on the plantation, they will be ejected from the miserable house in which they live. Sumon is the eldest of his brothers and sisters, the only one who can replace his mother. So he had no choice; he left school to go bury her mother and never came back. Now he is probably tied to a machine, grinding tea leaves 8 - 10 hours a day or spreading insecticide on plants without any protection. His future broke into a thousand pieces.

You who are reading this, could you help us to get to the greater number of boys and girls in this situation? We offer you the possibility to do something important for them. Click on DONATE and do what you can. Thank you.

Sumon es un chico de 15 años. Estudia 2º de secundaria en la escuelita que los sacerdotes de Holy Cross tienen en Srimongol (Bangladesh) para los hijos de los trabajadores de las plantaciones de té. El chico ha logrado llegar más lejos en los estudios de lo que nadie de su familia había conseguido nunca. A costa de inmensos sacrificios, todo hay que decirlo. Sumon no es una lumbrera, pero con esfuerzo y tesón, ha ido aprobando curso tras curso. Tiene sueños y esperanzas para el futuro. Terminar los estudios, encontrar un empleo digno, sacar a su familia del infierno de las plantaciones. Y de repente, una mañana, su futuro se rompió en mil pedazos. Le anuncian que su madre ha muerto; si alguien de la familia no toma su puesto en la plantación, serán expulsados de la miserable casa en la que viven. Sumon es el mayor de sus hermanos, el único que puede reemplazar a su madre. Así que no tuvo elección; dejó la escuela para ir a enterrar a su madre y nunca más volvió. Ahora estará probablemente atado a una maquina triturando hojas de té de 8 a 10 horas al día, o esparciendo insecticida sin protección ninguna sobre las plantas. Su futuro se rompió en mil pedazos.

Tú que lees estas líneas, ¿no podrías ayudarnos a sacar al mayor número posible de chicos y chicas de esta situación? Te ofrecemos la posibilidad de hacer algo importante por ellos y ellas. Pincha en DONATE y haz lo que puedas. Gracias.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Education is the only way out of poverty

“The wage is low.  It is not enough to live on, says Ruchina Dufo lethargically.  She has probably said this many times yet nothing has changed.  With this starvation wage which the 43 year old earns as a tea picker, she has to feed her four children and her sick mother.  Her sick mother is paralyzed from her hips to her feet so she spends her monotonous days on a roughly hewn wooden flat bed.  It is the only piece of furniture in the house.  A couple of sheet metal pots, a kerosene lamp, a blanket, which she spreads across the mud floor when it’s time to sleep – they own no more.
Ruchina confesses that she sometimes reaches her limit.  “But I have to go on,” she says.  Her face shows no expression. What alternative does she have?  Her parents before her, worked as tea pickers.
“The biggest problem is the house,” Ruchina explains soberly: “If I would look for different work, I would have no roof over my head anymore.”
Most people think alike.  This is the right of the tea companies.  The rent free living, the isolated villages and the many years of refusal by the government to allow schools here all created this dependency.
For herself, claims Ruchina, she has no hope left. Maybe her children will experience better times.  She knows education is the only way out of poverty. 

This is an extract taken from the German made Kontinente Magazin, specialized in Missions.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Tea workers’ wage hiked by 14 Taka (15 cents of euro!)

Here you are an article published in the local newspaper “The Daily Star” saying that the tea gardens workers salary will be increased by… 14 Taka (15 cents of euro) a day! What shocks me is that the worker’s leader says “We are very happy!” They are very happy with 60 cents of euro a day… OMG!

The daily wage of tea garden workers has been enhanced by Taka 14 with effect from June 1. Earlier, it was Taka 55.
The decision was taken at a tripartite meeting held at the labor ministry on May 28. Presided over by Labor and Employment Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju, the meeting was attended by leaders of the workers and representatives of tea garden owners. The meeting was called urgently following a report of The Daily Star on the poor wages of the tea garden workers and their other problems on May 25, said a tea workers’ leader. The last time wages of the tea garden workers were increased in 2009. Bijoy Prasad Banerjee, a tea workers’ leader, said, “We are very happy over the increase of the workers’ daily wage by Taka 14.”